Tag Archives: riewriter

Been Awhile…

…with no real excuse, but I have been busy.

Since SoonerCon, I have attended three shows,  released two books, and signed several contracts.

Book Two of The Conn-Mann Chronicles is now available. The Nearly Notorious Nun is on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

I also have a new poetry chapbook, Overheard in Hell, which is also available on Amazon.

October will be a busy month too. I have two major releases the week of the 23rd. Killing It Softly, available now for pre-order, and my second Steampunk anthology for Mocha Memoirs, Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires will also debut that week. This was fun to put together. It is horror with a Steampunk twist.

Coming up, more Conn-Mann is with the beta-readers, and I will be writing Book Four for NaNoWriMo, as the first three have been. What it will be, is still in question…I thought I knew…but I have been rethinking what I was planning.

I am also working on several other projects, but who knows when they will be finished. 😉

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

So many things spinning in my head. Books to edit, books to write, short stories to finish…I really don’t need anything more on my plate. But there are these pesky bills to pay…and I have been kicking around ideas on how to add an income stream or two.

I’ve been working on this for the last few days: The Conn-Mann Curiosity Shop — and I’ve even made a sale!

I’ve had a few nice writing sales this year as well.

But…my income goal for the year is still not being met. I need to up my game.

So, I want to test the waters on something else…

There are lots of editors out there. I know it is a crowded field, but I am throwing my hat into the ring too.

I have been editing for small presses for several years now, as well as for friends and family. I do things a little differently than some editors I know. I basically do content, polish, and proofing all in one pass. Then I send it back and continue to work with the author until we are both satisfied.

I charge a penny a word based on the word count of the final finished version, no matter how many times we have to go through it.

I try to turn things around in a reasonable time-frame.  I will always be frank about how much time I expect to need for a job. I have a lot of commitments that I can’t neglect because of a freelance commission–but I also hate housework and will put any edit in front of that…

It’s taken me a bit to come to the decision to offer my editing services. Hopefully, it will be worth it. 🙂

If you have something you would like me to work on, drop me an email at riewriter@gmail.com and I will be happy to discuss your project with you.

2 Down, 363 to go…

I know that I probably WON’T get a submission everyday this year, but I figured it is a good goal to have. Yesterday, I wrote a new poem for a call, and today I sent one of the orphans back out to try and find a home. It ALMOST made up for the laptop being a beast. Not quite, but almost. Thank goodness that email is cloud-based so that I can get attachments from emails I already sent, because I am not reaching the files themselves until I can figure out how to crack Windows 8.1.

Sometimes life just throws a challenge like that in your face, doesn’t it? Making it really hard to move forward. But where there’s a will, there’s usually a way.

Now, to go and write a letter from Alistair to Jo for a special guest blog post. THAT should be fun. 😉

Let It Go……

I am a terribly disorganized person. Ask anyone who knows me. But sometimes, I come up with an idea that really helps save my sanity. Not a new idea, by any means, but an idea that works.

In 2013, when I was proposed my insane 300 rejection challenge, I created a spreadsheet in Excel that helped me keep track of submissions:

My Submissions Spreadsheets – Blank Submissions (1)

If anyone thinks that will help them too, feel free to do so. Continue reading Let It Go……

5 Tips to Answer Where Do You Get Your Ideas…?

If you are a writer, you have had somebody ask this question at least once. And, if you are at all prolific, you have been able to tell them…EVERYWHERE!

You never know what will strike your fancy. Keep a notebook handy and jot down every little idea–no one says you have to actually use every little idea, but what if the one you didn’t at least jot down to think about is the one that would have put you on the Best Seller’s list? You just never know. If you don’t want to carry around a physical notebook, there are plenty of apps for that. I personally love One Note, because it can sync across computer, phone, and tablet.

To get back to what to put in that notebook, here are a few sources for some of my ideas:

1) I once read something about Queen Elizabeth I on the web, and it became “Soul of a Harper” (Sung here by the marvelous Marc Gunn who also wrote the music.)

2) I read a page of The Left-Hander’s 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar (earlier year, same calendar) and wrote “We Must Have Cream for Sunday,” which has been published twice and probably will be again next year.

3) I had a dream that morphed into a main character and some of the action in a WIP.

4) I absolutely love answering submissions calls based on songs. “Married to the Sea” in Terror by Gaslight: A Fantom Enterprises – Iron Clad Press Production was inspired by Jordan Reyne’s “Johnny & the Sea” for a contest she was having. “Shadow of a Black Crow” in Come to My Window was inspired by Melissa Etheridge’s song of the same name.

5) I’ve written poetry inspired by paintings and photographs.

In other words, ideas are everywhere. Let them in. 🙂


Newly Resolved…

I was reading Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered today, and one of the things that fellow Austinite Austin Kleon emphasizes is that you should keep the audience engaged with the work and show your process as you create.

I’m very bad about doing this, so I am resolving to put this blog to better use in the coming months. And tonight, I was presented with the perfect opportunity.

I was about to toss an envelope sitting on my desk, when I happened to turn it over. This was what I found:

2014-12-16 21.32.38

In case you can’t read my writing in places:

I dreamt of flowers
in the rain
the day they told me
you wouldn’t be coming
home again.

The knock at the door
almost went unanswered
because I didn’t
want Jehovah’s Witnesses
or two candy bars
for a dollar.

If I had left it alone,
pretended to be out,
would they simply
have left a note?

Or might you still
be alive somewhere?


As you can see–if you read closely–as I transcribed it from the envelope, I made changes to the punctuation, capitalization and spacing. This is my process. 🙂

And I almost tossed what I think is a pretty cool poem.

Unfortunately, that is also part of my process. I leave stuff everywhere. So, keep an eye on Here’s The Clean, too, and see if I get both sides of my house in order next year!

Randomized Fun


Several months ago, I saw a post from G. Arthur Brown looking for people to take up the challenge of accepting a randomly generated title (using a program such as this one) and writing a bit of flash fiction based on it. The idea intrigued me. I actually have used a random title generator before — the title of THE LUCKLESS PRINCE was the result of a RTG. Of course, in that instance, I could try again until I got one I really liked.

This time, I was given a string of words from which to write a story. It turned out to be more challenging than I expected! But it was a lot of fun, and the results went live today.

Here is my story: “Into a Mirror with a Toad.”

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

There Are Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here!

Well, one of the challenges in the Scavenger Hunt is to have another contestant critique your blog. So I did.



At the moment, since my blog is just the homepage of my website, it was easier to critique the whole thing. And I learned a great deal from the comments. So expect the site to undergo some major facelifting and marketing enhancements over the next few weeks.


In between submissions and WRITING those submissions, which has been monopolizing my time lately. I’m standing at 51 separate submissions for the year so far…and it isn’t March until tomorrow. Look, I CAN be a real writer when I want to be. 😉

3/31/11 — What to Do with a Review

I’ve seen a lot of discussion on the topic of negative reviews lately. This was set off by one author’s inappropriate public reaction to a review.  It was not even a particularly bad review, and it has cost her dearly — whether she fully realizes it or not. There are more than enough links to the site and it will probably be immortalized as the top result for a generic search like “bad review meltdown” for a long time. That is the curse of the Internet. That overreaction will never go away. Years from now, if she wants to be taken seriously, that poor professionalism is likely to turn up and ruin it for her.

Of course, no one likes a bad review. I had one for The Blood that Binds that I felt was entirely unfair and vitriolic. I went ballistic over it. It was my first book–my baby. I cried. I groused to friends and family. I’ve held a grudge for a decade, but I kept it off the net.

When I was editing some of that first book  to be included in The Luckless Prince, I read that review again…and do you know what? That review had changed.  This time, it actually had valid, useful points that helped during the edit. I still didn’t agree with everything the reviewer said, but time and distance granted me perspective enough to realize she might not have been totally wrong.

A second reviewer objected to Prince Roland’s vacillation, running hither and yon and back again. With this in mind, I strengthened his motivation for each leg of his journey, and it made a positive difference. Roland is a more sympathetic, likable character when he behaves rationally.

So, what do you do with a review? If it is a good review, thank the reviewer and link to it proudly. If it is a bad review, accept the lumps and move on. Making a spectacle of yourself is the last thing that you want to do. It will win you few friends, and sell even fewer books in most cases.

That still leaves the question of the genuinely destructive review, If this happens to you — whether it’s caused by a technical glitch, a sloppy reviewer or a jealous peer — you may feel compelled to take action. How do you deal with a review that’s beyond unhelpful, perhaps even damaging to your career? If it is actually potentially going to cost you money, as opposed to just something you don’t agree with, what do you do?